What sort of parent do you want to be? How do you want things to be a little different this year. Do you want to feel less stress and more connection with your kids?
In today’s busy society, it can be very challenging for parents to come home from work and feel relaxed with your kids. There is no clocking in and out of your household. Once you clock out, no more stress or worry right? This is usually a challenge for most people. Most kids ultimately want one thing from you……they want you. What does this look like? They want your focus and attention. Full focus and attention communicates many things….I love you, you are important to me, yes I am listening to you, I want to connect with you, I feel close to you, you can trust me, I am dependable.
Listening is such a beautiful gift we can offer anyone in life. When we feel heard and understood, this actually releases oxytocin in our brain, this can create more motivation, reduces stress, feeling of more satisfaction, reduces anger. We feel safe when we feel heard. When we feel safe we are more inclined to being kinder to ourselves and make better decisions.
Truly listening with our full presence is possibly one of the best gifts we can offer to our children. When we listen to their stories and we clarify to them what we heard them say, this allows a space for our children to develop their own sense of self, feel safe, and often times, creates space for them to solve their own problems in life. Creating a safe space for our kiddos to be who they are with full undivided attention is a true gift to them.
Ways to incorporate presence with your kiddos:
1) Before you start your day, wake up a little earlier than your kids, take 5 minutes for yourself. Begin by identifying 3 things you are thankful for in your life. Close your eyes and feel your heart beating, bring attention to your breath, bring attention to your chest rising up and down
2) Identify one thing about your child you enjoy (I love spending time with you, I really enjoyed watching the movie last night with you, I love reading books with you before bed, thanks for being you). Tell them what you enjoy when it feels right.
3) When you arrive at home at the end of the day, set the intention of what you are wanting to achieve this day (more connection, presence, focus, empathy, better listening)
4) When your child is talking to you, give your full, undivided attention to your child. Have eye contact, put any devices away for awhile, turn your body toward your child so they know you are listening.
5) Try and prioritize……Ask yourself, “in this moment what is the most important thing to do”